Mr. David Alonzo Vandiver
September 15, 1927 – November 6, 2019
David Alonzo Vandiver September 15, 1927 - November 06, 2019
David was born the second of nine children to Albert Lee Vandiver and Thelma Louise Smith, in Flat River Missouri on September 15th, 1927. In 1936, the family migrated to Orange County, California where David went on to attend Fullerton High School. At age 17, David left school--altering his birth certificate and enlisting in the Merchant Marines--where he trained on Catalina Island and served during wartime in the Pacific Ocean Theater.
On October 16th, 1949, David married Darlene Youngblood. The couple lived in Buena Park, California where in 1950 they welcomed a daughter--Ruby Jean, and in 1952, a son--William Dennis. In 1960, relocation of David's employer, Brookhurst Mill of Anaheim caused the family to move to Riverside, California where in 1962, another daughter--Wendy Sue, was born. After visiting his brother in Grants Pass in 1974, David left his job of more than 20 years and moved Darlene and Wendy onto 40 acres of land in Williams, Oregon. There David and Darlene worked tirelessly to build a homestead where they raised cattle and other livestock, and enjoyed the relative peace and isolation of country living. Once the home was established, David began employment with the Grants Pass Grange Co Op, making deliveries and working on the dock; eventually retiring after 17 years of service. In 1984, David and Darlene left the farm in Williams for a house on a mountain in the Cloverlawn area of town.
For more than 54 years, until Darlene's untimely passing in 2004, the couple served as an example of love and commitment to all who knew them. David continued to cherish and dearly missed Darlene for the rest of his life.
After Darlene’s passing, David worked to make life meaningful by becoming engaged in his community. For a number of years he volunteered with HASL Independent Ability Center, driving a service van transporting patients to medical appointments for treatment, and to service their daily needs. Known for his active lifestyle, David learned to water ski at age 70, enjoyed playing volleyball at the local Mormon church, and in 2005, joined the "Relics" senior softball team, where he played catcher right up to his 91st birthday.
David is proceeded in death by his treasured wife Darlene, and his beloved son William who passed in 2009. He is survived by his daughters Ruby Hess of Long Beach, CA, and Wendy Vandiver of Grants Pass, OR, as well as five granddaughters and two son-in-laws: Stacey Hess Pettersson (Scott) of Long Beach California, Jennifer Green (Jeff) of Long Beach CA, Megan Vandiver of Williston, SD, Amanda Morse of Grants Pass, OR, and Kristen Vandiver, of Grants Pass, OR. "Papa" will also be missed by four great-grandchildren: Kaiden Thayer, Maxwell Pettersson, Paige Green, and Berkley Morse. Additionally, David is survived by adoring nieces, nephews, and dear friends. During a recent conversation with his niece, David shared that while "it hasn’t been an easy road," he "always wanted to be a good person, in life." He continued that he wanted to "do right," as "growing up we had nothing in our home . . . [and] I wanted to have something for my family." David accomplished all of these goals--and much more.
Visitation will be held at The Chapel of the Valley Mortuary in Grants Pass, OR on Monday November 18th from 1-5 pm. Internment will take place at Loma Vista Cemetery in Fullerton, California on Saturday, November 23rd at 11:00 am.
The family would like to thank Asante Hospice, for their strength, comfort and caring ways. In leiu of flowers, please send donations to: Asante Foundation 2600 Siskiyou Boulvard Suite 100 Medford, OR 97504
Loma Vista Cemetery
- Visitation Monday, November 18, 2019
Mr. David Alonzo Vandiver
November 15, 2019
I first met Dave when he was my neighbor on Worden Way. One year, he and his nephew decided to join me on an elk hunt in the mountains above Prospect. Dave was probably approaching 70 at the time and he was dropping down into deep canyons where a lot of hunters half his age refused to go. His physical condition and mental toughness was impressive, to say the least.
We moved from that neighborhood, but Dave would occasionally stop by the radiator shop where I was manager, and we would catch up on what was going on with each other. It was on one of those visits that I learned of the loss of Darlene. Dave was literally overwhelmed with the loss and there really wasn’t anything I could say that would help. Today, in my mind, I can picture that special couple once again reunited. Ron Allison